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Dental Mission in Parañaque
“All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth” a line of a funny song goes.


Similar to how sincere and wishful the song is, as much as it is quite amusing, a good amount of students in public schools also have a wish but this time it is for their toothache to be gone. Due to lack of resources, they don’t get access to dental facilities that can help relieve them of their pain and they end up bearing with it, just hoping it will soon disappear.
Based on school profile reports, one major cause of student absenteeism is sickness, specifically toothache. This affects the student’s academic performance and thus is important to address. With this in mind, ACED with the help of Gotuaco Del Rosario and Associates, Inc. organized a dental mission at Sun Valley Elementary School  in Parañaque City last Monday, February 1, 2010.

Dr. Beng Salva, one of the dentists of the Division of City Schools of Parañaque City made a preliminary check-up the week before to identify Grade 3 and Grade 6 students who needed tooth extraction and this totaled to 106 students. With the help of volunteer dentists, Dr. Dina Ventura, Dr. Ivan Brillante and dentists from Deped Dr.Beng Salva and Dr. Ronald dela Cruz, 71 students had tooth extraction.

We started the day by feeding the students with lugaw, which served as their “last meal” before they underwent the tooth extraction. The dentists suggested this feeding to be undertaken so that the students will not feel dizzy during the procedure with an empty stomach.

           Then those with accomplished parent’s consent forms were interviewed about their health condition before lining up for dental procedure. The Grade 3 students came first. As much as the students wanted dental help, many students were also afraid. Some of those who were brave enough to go first opened their mouth ready for the procedure but still shed tears after the injection. The dentists, with the help of nurses Yolanda Samonte, Pilita Cruz and Bong Roxas from the Division Office of Parañaque City, led by Mr. Joel Leviste, performed the procedure with precision and calmness. It was good that the nurses were there to encourage the handful of students who were quite resistant and afraid of having their tooth extracted. One nurse was doing a whole performance and telling students that they had “magic” that made the procedure painless.

After much resistance, the students underwent the process, and after all the tears and bloody teeth, all the students were free from toothache. Some volunteers would say “Ate, congratulations! Tapos na!” Then, they were given paracetamol for the pain and some were given Amoxicillin, too. When they went out, the students were given a dental kit to encourage them to practice dental hygiene. At the end of the day, the students got what they needed. Even when the procedure was bloody, they were still able to smile and be happy.

We would like to thank Dr. Sunga, the principal of Sun Valley Elementary School, for providing support for the dental mission, as well as the volunteer dentists – Dr. Dina Ventura and Dr. Ivan Brillante, and the dentists and nurses from the Division Office for their time, and Gotuaco Del Rosario and Associates, Inc. staff/volunteers headed my Ms. Meg for helping out.

By: Raquel B. Cabrieto
Project Coordinator for Parañaque City

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